Monday, 3 February 2014

Move to the beat – January 2014

I am a self-confessed fitness fanatic. I enjoy being active, looking after my body and overall health. It extends beyond the physical to the psychological. So much so, I have incorporated exercising as another task that needs doing in my daily routine, just like brushing your teeth and eating. Although I am able to exercise without requiring much provocation, I use music to make the task more enjoyable. Listening to music whilst working out is a great technique to motivate, energise and entertain as it provides a diversion from the effort invested, making getting fit more fun and less of a chore.  
Like others, the tunes I listen to reflect my current mood and what I’m going through at that point in my life. When it comes to exercising, my song selection is upbeat to coincide with my cadence and make me feel happy. I regularly update my playlists and mix the old tracks with the new to keep me interested and constantly encourage me to pick up the pace.

It goes without saying that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar’s “All Fired Up”, ACDC’s “You Shook Me” and “Stronger” by Kanye West are givens on any fitness fan’s playlist and they’re definitely on mine but, I also prefer to deviate from the standard and jog to a different beat. I particularly enjoy discovering songs much loved but long forgotten such as “Maniac” by Michael Sembello, Marcia Hines’ version of “Disco Inferno”, “I’m so excited” by The Pointer Sisters and “I was made for loving you” by Kiss. Also, I like to mix up my compilations by adding sexy, fast paced foreign melodies. So, this month I want to share some tunes to inspire you to get moving and work out and help keep your training on track.

My top 20 workout songs are:
  1. Music sounds better with you – Stardust
  2. Loca – Shakira ft. Dizzee Rascal
  3. Moves like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
  4. Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  5. Thinking about You – Calvin Harris ft. Ayah Marar
  6. Conga – Gloria Estefan
  7. Scream – Usher
  8. Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
  9. Let’s go – Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo
  10. Lady (Hear me Tonight) – Modjo
  11. Fighter – Christina Aguilera
  12. Sweat – Snoop Dogg vs David Guetta
  13. Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
  14. Holding out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler
  15. I Need your Love – Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding
  16. Take over Control – Afrojack
  17. The Anthem – Pitbull ft. Lil Jon
  18. The Other Side – Jason Derulo
  19. Closer – Ne-Yo
  20. Can't Hold Us – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Of course, no playlist is ever complete without songs from the [original] King and Queen of Pop, Michael Jackson and Madonna so be sure to include your favourites. (Also, I just have to mention “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice and “Kiss” by Prince).

Finally, I am a firm advocate of stretching after every workout to reduce muscle fatigue and prevent any cramping. It also enables me to bring down my heart rate and calm my mind through my breathing whilst at the same time, tune into my body to identify any areas of discomfort and tension which may need attention.

Some of my favourite cool down songs include: Ring my Bells – Enrique Iglesias; Te Amo – Rihanna; She’s like the Wind – Patrick Swayze; One Love – Sara Tavares; Diamonds – Rihanna; Strawberry Bubblegum – Justin Timberlake; You – Nathaniel and Hold on, We’re going home – Drake ft. Majid Jordan.

If you are yet to commence a regular exercise regime, now is a great time to start. If you don’t like running or being confined to a gym that’s ok. Find an activity or sport you enjoy doing or are interested in and get involved. Or take part in the numerous charity events on offer such as ‘The Neon Run’ or ‘The Color Run’ which are a fun way to combine helping others in need whilst being active. You’ll soon forget you are exercising. The goal is to improve your health and feel good about yourself so, invest time in your health and vitality and enjoy yourself in the process. Treat your body with the respect it deserves because it’s the only one you’ve got. Your body will thank you for it.

So, get up off the couch, update your playlist, put on your sneakers, grab your portable music box and hit the pavement. The hardest part will be restraining yourself from dancing along to the funky beats!

Note: stretching session should go for at least one song.

“The greatest wealth is health.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 


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